A University of South Carolina study finds social media can ease social anxiety.
Professor Dr. Eva Buechel told South Carolina Radio Network it gives individuals another way to communicate. “It provides this unique communications channel that can help people who are otherwise uncomfortable about reaching out.”
Buechel’s latest study in the Journal of Consumer Psychology suggests that online social networks may help some people who experience social anxiety. Specifically, her study explored the benefits for people who are feeling bad and want to share that with others, but are stressed at the prospect of calling someone. That stress could come out of fear that they may be a bother, she said.
“Reaching out in this way and anticipating a response can actually increase well being or regulate emotion,” said Buechel.
Buechel said while there is much research to support in-person communication over social networks for positive emotional health, her study suggests that social media may be an important communication channel for certain individuals who would otherwise remain isolated.